MLB Power Rankings: Where All 30 MLB Teams Stand After 1 Month

One month of the 2016 MLB season is in the books, but there's still a lot of baseball to be played. April was dominated by the city of Chicago, as the Cubs and White Sox have separated themselves from the pack here in the early going. The Washington Nationals and New York Mets appear ready for a tight battle in the NL East, while the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners have been two of the hottest teams on the American League side of things as they battle for AL West supremacy. We're still dealing with a relatively small sample size at this point, so one strong week of play can often result in a significant climb up the rankings with so many teams clustered together with similar records. The same goes for a rough week sending a team falling down the rankings, but one thing remains true: These rankings are a fluid process, with ...


Fantasy Baseball Waiver Wire: Top 10 Pickups for Week 5

A wise fantasy baseball manager knows not to rock the boat too much in April, but will that patience extend into May? Enough stats are accumulating to start fretting the ace with the ERA over 5.00 and the star hitter batting below the Mendoza Line. As gamers wait on their established picks to wake up, lesser players are delivering to nobody's benefit on the waiver wire. Don't go dropping a trustworthy mainstay for any of these free agents—all of whom are available in more than half of Yahoo Sports leagues. This list predominantly features speculative adds or guys to temporarily enjoy during a hot streak. Few of them will make a long-term impact in standard mixed leagues, but some certainly boast the potential to break out. Ready to dump that late-round flier falling flat on his face? Consider filling his roster spot with one of these free agents.Begin Slideshow


Jeremy Hazelbaker, Cardinals Are Match Made in Perseverance Heaven

Ears. You know something? Over seven or eight seasons of bouncing around the country’s bumpy roads on rattletrap minor league buses, a guy’s ears become pretty finely tuned. And above all else over the past year, Jeremy Hazelbaker, the St. Louis Cardinals’ latest newly discovered gem, has listened and learned one thing. The sound of 47,000 fans rising to cheer one of his home runs is a whole lot different than the sound his cellphone was making early last May after the Los Angeles Dodgers suddenly and unexpectedly released him from their Double-A Tulsa club. As he sat at home in Indiana waiting for an organization to call and scoop him up, one day passed. Then two. Then three. “Toward the end of a week and a half, I was thinking, ‘All right, that’s all she wrote. I’ll have to go back to school and get a job,’” says Hazelbaker, 28, a pleasant and ...


Travis Shaw Becoming Star After Being Thrown in Spotlight by Sandoval Benching

From the ashes of every tragedy, something good can arise. It's still too soon to call Pablo Sandoval's Boston Red Sox career a tragedy. But it's past time to call Travis Shaw something good. Since being thrust into the spotlight by Sandoval's embarrassing benching and subsequent injury issues, Shaw has emerged from obscurity to become a budding star for Boston. Shaw went 2-for-4 with a home run Sunday in the Red Sox's 8-7 victory over the New York Yankees at Fenway Park. He's now hitting .322 on the season with a .923 OPS, three homers and 17 RBI. It's early, to apply the obligatory caveat, but the Sox have seemingly solved their third-base quandary. A ninth-round pick in the 2011 draft, Shaw had a nice big league debut in 2015, hitting .270 with 13 home runs in 65 games, mostly at first base. Still, the 26-year-old entered spring training looking like a bench player at best, with ...


Clayton Kershaw Doing It All for Up-and-Down Dodgers

Entering play Sunday, the Los Angeles Dodgers were in a free fall. They'd dropped six straight to the lowly Miami Marlins and punchless San Diego Padres. They'd slid a game below .500 and were looking less and less like big-spending, three-time defending division champs. Then Clayton Kershaw swooped in and, for an afternoon at least, single-handedly stopped the nosedive in a 1-0 victory at Chavez Ravine. All that was missing was a cape and tights. Really, at this point, we're running out of adjectives to describe Kershaw. Brilliant, dominant, filthy, transcendent—all apply, plus a bunch more. Grab your thesaurus and go to work. The latest evidence of the lanky left-hander's amazingness came at the expense of the Pads. For nine frames, Kershaw was utterly in control, racking up 14 strikeouts with nary a walk and only a trio of singles between him and perfection. Heck, only two of his 27 outs left the infield, ...


Yankees Finish April with Fewest Runs in MLB for 1st Time in 32 Years

The New York Yankees finished an abysmal first month from the batter's box by ranking last in the majors in runs scored during April for the first time since 1984, per Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN Stats & Info). With just 74 runs, the so-called Bronx Bombers finished with one fewer run than a struggling Atlanta Braves team that had a 5-18 record for the month. To put this into perspective, the Braves notched just five home runs through the month of April and still managed to outscore New York (22 home runs). Back in 1984, the Yankees overcame a slow start to rank fourth in the American League with 758 runs. The current squad may thus have some hope, even though it enters Sunday on pace for just 545 runs, with an 8-14 record to boot.  Second baseman Starlin Castro, who was acquired from the Chicago Cubs in the offseason, is the only ...


Cecil Becomes 1st Relief Pitcher to Lose 5 Games in April

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Brett Cecil recently became the first player in MLB history to be credited with five losses as a relief pitcher during the month of April, per Elias Sports Bureau (h/t ESPN.com). The last reliever to lose five games in any single calendar month was former Oakland Athletics pitcher Brian Fuentes, who did so in May 2011. Cecil finished April with an 0-5 record and 5.79 ERA, leading the majors in losses while sitting in a four-way tie atop the leaderboard for most blown saves (three). Despite the early struggles, Cecil does have some positive numbers, as he's allowed just one home run (46 batters faced) and is tied for 14th in the majors with five holds. Although he's an easy target for blame, the 29-year-old lefty hasn't been the only problem for Toronto this season. Fellow setup man Drew Storen has surrendered nine earned runs in eight innings, and designated hitter Edwin ...


Story Finishes April with 17 Extra-Base Hits, Including 10 Home Runs

Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story finished April with 17 extra-base hits, joining Joe DiMaggio (23 in May 1936) and Albert Pujols (17 in April 2001) as the only players since 1900 to record 17 or more extra-base hits during the first calendar month of their respective careers, per Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN.com). One of the biggest surprises early in the season, the 23-year-old Story was never viewed as a top-notch prospect, and he might not have even made the big-league roster out of spring training if not for Jose Reyes' absence in the wake of a domestic violence allegation. Nonetheless, Story made history by hitting seven home runs in the first six games of his career, with six of those long balls coming in the first four games. He's slowed down considerably since the season's first week, yet still managed to break Pujols' National League record of eight home runs by a ...


Biggest MLB Duds of April 2016, Position by Position

Baseball's regular season might be a marathon and not a sprint, but it seemed like we blew through April in record time, doesn't it? The players in this list might disagree with that sentiment. All of them are struggling badly out of the gate and eager to leave the season's opening month firmly in the past. While there's plenty of time for them to turn things around, it doesn't make their struggles any less frustrating. Taking traditional and advanced statistics into consideration, here's a look at those who failed to meet even the most modest of expectations over the season's first month.  Begin Slideshow


‘Buy or Sell’ with MLB’s Top April Rookie Performances of 2016

First impressions are far from everything. No MLB rookie should start writing his Hall of Fame speech after one impressive month. Patience, however, is a difficult virtue to master early in the season, when successes and failures stand out like giant pimples. Combine the tendency to overreact to April numbers with human instinct to judge someone immediately, and neophytes are especially susceptible to spawning overzealous reactions. Some fresh faces will enjoy a productive season and career. Others may become a footnote by July if they can't adapt to the opposition's adjustments. It's ultimately too early to know what will become of any first-year players. But since when has that stopped anyone from trying to figure it out? To stay focused on the true newcomers, let's look beyond Corey Seager and Steven Matz, who still have rookie eligibility despite debuting last season and participating in the postseason. And while the sample sizes are small ...


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